A Minor in Physics recognizes interest and significant study in Physics, while requiring less time and fewer classes than needed to major in Physics. If you are majoring in a different field but wish to take some Physics classes beyond the introductory level, or if you began work toward a Physics B.S. but found your interests shifting in another direction, completing a minor in Physics may be a natural choice. There are no admissions requirements for a minor.
The UW Physics department offers three options for completing a Physics Minor, with common basic requirements and differing additional requirements at the 200 level and above. These are a physics education path, which requires Phys 407/408/409 (Physics by Inquiry), an experimental physics path requiring Phys 231 (Introductory Experimental Physics) plus additional labs, and a mathematical physics path requiring Phys 227/228 (Mathematical Methods of Physics) plus more electromagnetism and quantum mechanics.
Note: Astronomy supports students through the Physics/Astronomy double major, but generally does not allow a Physics minor for Astronomy majors since it is redundant.
Physics Minor Requirements
See UW Minors for university regulations regarding minors. The key points are:
- When declaring a minor, you must have earned at least 45 credits, and already have a declared major.
- A grade of 2.0 or higher is required in all courses leading to the minor.
- The minor cannot be in same field as the major. A maximum of three minors is permitted. Minors are not allowed for post-baccalaureate students.
- If you major in one College and minor in a different College, you must complete the general education requirements of the College of the major, but need not complete the general education requirements of the College of the minor.
There are three options for completing a Physics Minor, with common basic requirements and differing additional requirements at the 200 level and above.
Common Requirements (36 credits)
Many STEM majors will have already taken most or all these classes:
Courses | Topics |
---|---|
Phys 121 or Phys 141 | Mechanics (5) |
Phys 122 or Phys 142 | Electromagnetism (5) |
Phys 123 or Phys 143 | Waves, Optics & Heat (5) |
Math 124 or Math 134 | Differential Calculus (5) |
Math 125 or Math 135 | Integral Calculus (5) |
Math 126 or Math 136 | Multivariate Calculus (5) |
Phys 224 | Thermal & Statistical Physics (3) |
Phys 225 | Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (3) |
Option 1: Physics Education Path (addl. 15 credits)
Courses | Topics |
---|---|
Phys 407 | Physics by Inquiry I (5) |
Phys 408 | Physics by Inquiry II (5) |
Phys 409 | Physics by Inquiry III (5) |
Option 2: Experimental Physics Path (addl. 9 credits)
Courses | Topics | |
---|---|---|
Core Labs: | Phys 231 | Introductory Experimental Physics (3) |
Phys 334 | Electronics Lab: Analog (3) | |
Plus one of: | Phys 331 | Optics Lab (3) |
Phys 335 | Electronics Lab: Digital (3) | |
Phys 431 | Modern Physics Lab: Condensed Matter (3) | |
Phys 432 | Modern Physics Lab: Atomic (3) | |
Phys 433 | Modern Physics Lab: Nuclear & Particle (3) | |
Phys 434 | Computers in Data Acquisition (3) |
Option 3: Mathematical Physics Path (addl. 15 credits)
Courses | Topics | |
---|---|---|
More Math* | One 300-level Math course (3) | |
More Physics: | Phys 227 | Mathematical Methods of Physics I (4) |
Phys 228 | Mathematical Methods of Physics II (4) | |
Plus one of: | Phys 321 | Electromagnetism I (4) |
Phys 324 | Quantum Mechanics I (4) |
* Note: Phys 227 requires at least one 300-level math course as a co-requisite.
Last updated: 12/2020